Hovenweep National Monument features five village groups of the Anaszi people, or Ancient Pueblo. It’s located in Southwest Colorado, between Cortez and Blanding, Utah. All 5 sites are located along a 16 mile road in the high desert.
The Visitor Center is located just across the border in Utah. It’s a modern facility with exhibits, info and a small gift shop. There’s a 31-site modern campground situated next to the visitor center and next to an awesome 2 mile loop trail, the Square Tower Group.
The ruin sites aren’t as well marked on the Colorado side. They are marked just by a small wooden sign with a picture of a white dove.
All the sites offer something unique and are worth visiting. If you only have time for one, see Square Tower.
- Square Tower – The most popular archaeological group at Hovenweep. A 2 mile trail wraps around all sites, including Hovenweep Castle.
- Horseshoe & Hackberry – A 0.8 mile hike takes you by these two ruins.
- Holly – Several ruins make up this exciting group.
- Cutthroat Castle – Shares a dirt road with “Paint Hand” of Canyons of the Ancients. It’s about a mile and half round trek if you don’t a real high-clearance vehicle.
- Cajun – Located furthest south is this group of several ruins.
Camping: Yes, 31 sites, open year round, $10/night, first-come first-serve. They offer great views of Sleeping Ute Mountain and are located next to Rim Rock Trail.
Hiking: Rim Rock Trail near the Visitor Center is a remarkable hike 2-mile trek around the Square Tower ruins. It circles around the top of the canyon, passing by many ruins like Hovenweep Castle. There is an option to take a trail into the canyon as well. The trail takes 1.5-2 hours.
- It gets hot out here and there’s not much around. Bring a full tank of gas, water and snacks.
- One of the ruins takes you by “Paint Hand”, part of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. It’s best to combine the two sites into one trip.
Address: Montezuma County (near Cortez)
Season: Year round
Entrance Fees: $6/vehicle, $3/walk-in/motorcycle/bicycle